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Hello from Hong Kong!

Cybersecurity remains the most discussed topic in the region. In a recent survey by Black Hat Asia, Asian cybersecurity professionals said they expect a major, successful cyberattack affecting multiple Asian countries to occur within the next two years. Lack of resources to train staff and lack of awareness to treat IT as a tactical, firefighting mission have been cited as some of the reasons for these concerns, similar to surveys conducted in Europe and the United States.

Moving on to an interesting case in Australia, Transport for NSW (the agency) has lost a legal challenge to its collection of data about the movement of Opal users on the basis that the agency’s collection of a person’s travel history data was not necessary. Opal is a smart card ticketing system used to pay for travel on public transport in the greater Sydney area of New South Wales, Australia. It will be interesting to see whether regulators across the APAC region share the same views, given that we are in the era of big data, when much of the value is built on our digital breadcrumbs.

In China (just like everywhere else in the world), the battle between privacy and technology continues. China is now one of the rising artificial intelligence powers, thanks to government support, its large sample population, and somewhat vague privacy laws, which allow companies to pioneer such technology with little limitations. Just recently, local police were testing out a new security tool: smart glasses that compare faces and cars to a "blacklist" in real time, with a warning sign displayed when a match is made. While the government will only be using the AI-powered glasses for “noble causes” — catching suspects and fugitives from the law — this new technology has raised concerns about privacy infringement and China’s becoming a sophisticated surveillance state.

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